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11. Avoid over-drafting your checking account

Accidentally over drafting your checking account can happen to the best of us. It should, however, NEVER be a lifestyle. By 30 you should have learned (hopefully not the hard way) one small overdraft can potentially cause a ripple effect of other financial disasters in your checking account. Fees for overdrafts are as high as $35 for each occurrence. Please don’t let this happen to you.

12. Start funding an IRA

What is an IRA? This stands for an Individual Retirement Account and the sooner you get started the better. Research the options available for you. Speak to your tax agent about the tax benefits associated with contributing to an IRA. There are so many reasons to start funding an IRA and tax benefits are just the beginning!

13. Educate yourself regularly with financial courses

There’s a wealth (pun intended) of resources available online. Immerse yourself in all things financial by doing things like taking time to talk to your local bank manager and reading the financial section of the news. It will all start to make sense eventually. By the age of 30, financially viable women know the jargon and are ready to start building on their primary level of financial literacy.

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14. Get out of debt

Debt is the kind of headache that keeps people awake at night. Sadly, it is also a major cause of anxiety and one of the leading causes of attempted suicides. By the age of 30, a woman knows that being in debt is simply no fun. It can hold you back. It stops you from moving forward and achieving new goals and dreams. If you do have debt, we strongly recommend that you work on devouring it ASAP.

15. Stay out of debt

If you aren’t in debt, you are doing well. This is about living within your means and sticking to your carefully constructed budget. To stay out of debt, avoid STDs. Yes, Stupid Transmitted Debts. Don’t agree to go guarantor on a loan for a boyfriend, friend or relative. This is a huge pitfall for women in their 20s. Don’t go there. Your financial health comes first. Delayed gratification is the motto of women who have mastered their money.

16. Stay away from payday advances from check cashing stores

Just say no. Such advances get you into the habit of being reckless with your money and using the advance as a bail-out. It might work just once. But if it becomes a habit and a way of life, you will become stuck in vicious cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul, constantly playing catch-up. Try not to get caught in the Payday advance web; it’s not worth it.

17. Sallie Mae isn’t your sister; kick her out a soon as possible.

Defaulting on student loans is one of the primary reasons that young women have poor credit ratings. Use caution when applying or accepting a student loan. They’re easy to obtain but very hard to pay off. Too many women approaching 30 have unpaid student loans hanging over their heads.

18. Pull your credit and review annually

You have a woman’s health check once a year, don’t you? Women approaching 30 know the importance of mammograms and pap smears. Financial health is also important. Don’t bury your head in the sand. You can visit www.annualcreditreport.com and obtain a free credit report from all three credit bureaus. You have to know where you are in order to plan where you’re headed.

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19. Set up alerts to prevent identity theft

It is a sad reality but there are folks out there who are looking to steal your identity. When using Internet banking or the Internet period, make sure you choose a really strong password or pin that only YOU know. Never do banking on a public computer however if you really must, make sure you log out properly. Check with your bank to see what identity protection they offer. Some banks include basic insurance to cover unauthorized transactions. Set up alerts to send you an email should your accounts be accessed from an unusual location or device.

20. Create a Health Savings Account

Health is wealth. It pays to look after your health. Health can be a very unpredictable force in a woman’s life. It can also be very expensive. With a little foresight and planning, however, you can create a contingency plan for maintenance of good health by opening a Health Savings Account.

30 Things About Money That Every 30-Something Should Know  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com

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